Retired RCAF Officer and Son Charged in World Cup Betting Ring

A retired RCAF officer and his son were charged by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday in connection with their alleged establishment of a gambling parlor for betting on World Cup games in Sen Sok district, deputy district police chief Chiv Vibol said.

The suspects Long Sophan Dara, 57, and his son Chheng Bunhak, 17, were arrested at a private residence in Toek Thla commune during a raid on Monday afternoon, Mr Vibol said. The men are currently being detained in Prey Sar prison, he said.

A search of the residence uncovered around $30 and a book of betting receipts related to World Cup matches, said deputy district governor Chea Khema.

Deputy prosecutor Koeu Bunnara said that the bookmakers could face fines of between $1,250 and $5,000 and a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison if they are convicted.

In a June 9 speech, Prime Minister Hun Sen told Cambodians to refrain from betting on World Cup matches and instructed police nationwide to crack down on football-oriented gambling operations.

Mr Hun Sen also requested that police not be excessively strict with the bettors they arrest. On June 13, police in Preah Sihanouk province arrested eight men and one woman for running a gambling ring and seized a handwritten book detailing bets of betweens $15 and $30.

The nine offenders were not charged, but were asked to sign a statement promising that they would stop gambling before they were released from police custody.


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